School of Rock
Richard Linklater directs Jack Black in the winning comedy School of Rock, which comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer that fails to preserve the original theatrical aspect ratio of the movie. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Surround. A French soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1. Both the audio and visual quality of the disc is solid. Supplemental materials include a commentary track recorded by Linklater and Black that is almost as entertaining as the film itself. The two are very comfortable together and actually reveal a great deal about the process of making the movie while making each other and the viewer laugh. A second commentary track has been recorded by a half-dozen of the kids who acted in the movie. They speak glowingly of Black, and it is obvious they had a great time making the film. While their comments may be short on any real information, their happiness and joy is fun to listen to. Other extras include a funny four-minute clip of Jack Black begging Led Zeppelin to allow the filmmakers to use "The Immigrant Song" in the movie (a ploy that was successful), a making-of featurette, and a video diary of the kids in the band attending the film's screening at the Toronto Film Festival. Those with a DVD-ROM drive can access Dewey Finn's history of rock. This is a fine disc for what it is, but the same extras are available on a different, preferable edition that also boasts a widescreen transfer.